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Shopping Can Be Fun: A New Concept in Merchandising

Published 1957

How the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, California increased traffic with a sophisticated program of advertising and promotion. Excellent footage of stores and shoppers in an upscale suburb. Some footage from this film was used in IN THE SUBURBS. Producer and Photographer: George H. Kelley. Kodachrome.

Run time 17:12
Producer Kelley (George H.)
Sponsor Hillsdale Shopping Center
Audio/Visual Sd, C




Reviewer: JSBejma - - January 13, 2015
Subject: OK but Second Rate
Northland (1953) and Eastland (1958) were bigger and architecturally way more imposing than this - but they served a huge metropolitan area (Detroit). Interestingly there were also modern sculptures of various types, very similar to those seen here at both of those shopping centers. Those outdoor shopping centers were way more pleasant - even in winter with howling winds and blowing snow. Enclosed malls attract local teenagers and (more lately) not-so-local teenagers; the unenclosed centers didn't seem to attract hoodlums.

Very long dragged out film - one wonders who this was made for??
Reviewer: The_Emperor_Of_Television - - January 17, 2013
Subject: Nice footage
Shopping center itself looks decent, though perhaps a bit kitsch.

As for the film itself, it has some very good footage, particularly near the start of the film, with a nice, good shot of a parking lot filled with colourful 1950s cars.
Reviewer: Zplomb - - April 15, 2010
Subject: Back when runway models actually smiled...
Why is it all so damn tacky?! Can't imagine growing up in that time period. The huge mechanical statues are scary.
Reviewer: Dodsworth the Cat - - August 23, 2009
Subject: The Capitol Stock Music Strikes Again
The reason the music sounds like Gumby is because the Capitol Production Library is being used. Most of it sounds like Bill Loose's stuff, including the opening.
You can hear:
* 0:00, C-42 (Loose)
* 3:53, C-12 Domestic Lite aka Fashion Fox Trot (Loose).
* 5:23, C-6 Domestic Children (Loose).
* 7:39, C-5 Domestic Children (Loose).
* 10:05, L-1130 Animation Children (Spencer Moore), which was featured on TV commercials in the '60s.

Can you imagine a mall today giving kids a bow and arrow?
Reviewer: Steve Carras - - April 5, 2009
Subject: Interesting film here..
Dodsworth the cat's right, and thanks for ID'ing 1150, I have this on a colleciton someone air centers DO still exist, and NOT just those "outlet ones", thier! Newport Beach< Calif;'s, Fashion island [1967], and really one of the last of the really creative old ones, stilll exists in its ORIGIAL open air state...but has itself changed a lot.

And buying a kid NOW a bow and arrow..why, a parent just MIGHT get an arraow lodged in their head, even if it's rubber...
Reviewer: fruitgrower - - December 3, 2008
Subject: Ahhh, I remember Hillsdale well!
Sure this promo is cheesy and kinda creepy. But I grew up making the occasional trip to Hillsdale a few years after this was made, and it was wonderful. The Bufanos were like old friends--each sitting on a dias surrounded by boxwood hedges. We saw the Mother Mary sculpture whenever we went to the SF airport, too. Wonderfully tactile granite and basalt sculptures, kid-friendly.

Hillsdale also put on a great Christmas show. Little magical boothes with clockwork elves skating, making toys, etc. Hard to believe NOW, but that was high-tech stuff back in the day!

Stanford Shopping Center was another open-air mall from this era, and it has changed significantly. And remember, people, as you're ridiculing this stuff--Mummy may have dragged you to the mall, but she did it significantly less than now, and she bought FAR LESS STUFF--credit cards were new and weird, and most used cash-- when they had it. A purchase was considered carefully and never casually.

Those days were wretched in many ways (Mother made us wear our white gloves to church and when traveling! and our petticoats itched), but I can't help feeling a whisp of nostalgia seeing this--our arrogant jadedness hadn't yet creeped into the national discourse, and Vietnam--despite Bufano, who believed in everlasting peace--was winnable before Christmas. Sigh...
Reviewer: Spuzz - - June 3, 2005
Subject: Would the Hula dancer please get out of the planter, thank you.
Fascinatingly cheap film made to showcase the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo California. filled with much out of focus shots, bad lettering, and bad profile shots. I just wonder if the shopping center god all it paid for this. Some notes..

Funny how we never get to go into any of the stores except the 'Farmer's Market' which isn't a Farmer's Market, but more or less a standard supermarket. Managers of departments all of a sudden become 'specialists'.. LOVE the overembellishment of the food fair.

The film then talks about the special days it has.. LOVE the lettering on thsee (I said that already).
The Easter exhibit was there to "entertain the youngsters and to give mother more freedom in her shopping". So, yes, ditch the kids to hit the sales in other words.
'Armed Forces Day' featured um, a hula dancer who supposedly entertained the troops. that's all that was said, nothing else. Very odd.

And on and on it goes, from trout fishing tanks with 'Free Memberships" crossed out, to flag displays which featured flags folded over because of the wind to finally, Macy's tree of lights which was "the focal point from the highway".

Shopping can be fun? Maybe someplace else, nevertheless I really enjoyed this film. Reccomended!
Reviewer: Visual16 - - October 20, 2004
Subject: Really Fun!!
I made a video CD of this some months ago and left my player on endless loop so it played over and over. Shopping can be fun is absolutely numbing.
I love the audio which sounds like a mix of a "calling all cars" police bulletin set to Gumby music. That combination is so one of a kind and nutty. And the stuff they show! "Dad's a Doll" or the "Temporary home of Mr.and Mrs. Easter Bunny". The Bufano Statuary, The biggest toys in the whole wide world! I guess this celebrates the peak of when America worked graffiti, no death metal, no booming rap music, no counterculture.
Can you imagine looking forward to the Hillsdale travel show as the highlight of your week?
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - January 19, 2004
Subject: It really pays to advertise
Before the enclosed indoor shopping mall became standard, 1950's and early 60's suburban sprawl produced these pedestrian outdoor malls all over California. I think most were later converted to enclosed malls. This promotional film looks pretty cookie-cutter, as if made from a "your name here" script. The only thing unique about this mall seems to be the specially commissioned sculptures. Otherwise it's just the promotions and shows that made all these malls look the same. But I do like the spring "fashions for the entire family" show with only 18 to 25 year-old blond females.
Reviewer: TimT - - April 21, 2003
Subject: And the mall is still there!
A decent PR piece for the Hillsdale Shopping Center, which is still in operation along El Camino Real in San Mateo, California. MAcy's & Sears are still there, but otherwise, many of the stores & other features of the mall are long-gone, though I'll have to look carefully next time I'm there for the animal sculptures featured in the footage.
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